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Home Town Takeover -- Episode 3

Gold Crown Lanes, Prairie Maze and the Akpamolis


Oh man, guys! How much fun was episode three? As Erin mentioned on screen, the key to making over a town is to find the dead spots and do something remarkable with them. I would definitely say the projects this week hit that nail right on the head. We are extremely proud to have played a part in two out of the three locations.

 

Gold Crown Lanes with Dave + Jenny


When the team approached us about creating a fun space for families in front of the bowling alley, we were all in! It's not everyday you get to combine your work with something that provides so much joy to adults and kids alike.


Dave and Jenny were after a beer garden feel, with lots of cool seating and oversized lawn games. The projects we agreed to contribute to the space were a swing set table, log benches, tree stump stools, and a huge 4 In A Row game.


Right away, Jason started sourcing materials and drafting up plans. That's when the film crew told us they wanted to come out and grab footage at our workshop .... wait, WHAT? We're gonna be on TV!?


I can't even lie. We were fan girling so hard when Dave Marrs showed up at our place. 😍 For all of you who asked, he's just as great in person as he is on screen. His energy is infectious. Plus he snatched up whatever tool was laying on the work bench and jumped right in. A true class act all the way around.


It was a blast working with Dave and our buddies Matt and Levi from Paramount Remodeling that day. But a laundry list of work went into each project before and after the filming. So let's break it all down step by step.


The Swing Set Table


The most unique project we undertook was the swing set table. Designed to seat at least eight people, the metal frame measured 7' x 7'. We recruited the help of Travis with CT Fabworks to fabricate and powder coat the frame. Travis does the metal work for all of our tables, chairs, benches, etc. at Just Rustic, so we have a ton of faith in the quality of his products.



Once we got the frame back to the workshop, it was time to size and cut the wood for the table top and swing seats. We chose eastern red cedar for the job, due to its bright color and durability outdoors.



Each slab was flattened and cut to size. The slabs for the seats were left in one piece with their live edges, but those for the table had to be ripped down and domino joined. We then added a live edge border around all four sides to give the top character and to match the seats.


After a good sanding, each piece was finished with Sutherland Welles exterior marine varnish. Top coats are something we never skimp on to save a buck. And for good reason. This piece looks just as good as the day we dropped it off, even after sitting outside for the past six months.



The swing set is positioned right outside the serving window on the patio, making it the perfect spot to enjoy a meal, card game, or cold drink with your crew. We're definitely planning a trip back over there for lunch this week. 😋


The Log Benches + Stools


The seemingly random assortment of seating on the patio is what makes it so much fun. Every nook and corner has a different style of bench, chair or stool, and yet they all vibe together.


To help fill each space, we crafted multiple beetle kill pine log benches and stump stools. Beetle kill pine is a readily available material here in Colorado thanks to the Mountain Pine Beetle.

This ornery little bug has killed more than 100 million acres of trees across the United States and Canada. The beetles bore into the tree to lay their eggs, eventually cutting off the flow of nutrients / water and killing the tree from the inside out.


The massive amount of beetle kill pine in Colorado makes it a top choice for woodworkers in the state. By salvaging the already dead trees, the wood is utilized for good instead of rotting away. Plus the area can be cleared for new growth.


Our beetle kill pine is sourced from the Arapaho and Roosevelt National Forest. We purchase it in log form before hauling it back to our sawmill. Here we can slab it out to any desired thickness or size. As you can see with the benches, we sliced the tree both horizontally and vertically to get different shapes for the seat and legs.


Need one of these benches for your backyard? We offer them in four sizes. Each bench is made to order and will be ready to pick up / ship out in two weeks.


The 4 In A Row Game


Enter our son's favorite thing daddy has ever made ... ever!



Usually this game comes in a 12"x12" box off the Walmart shelf, but we decided to make it a statement and GO BIG. The frame is constructed from 2"x4" and 4"x4" eastern red cedar posts. Once it was framed out, the grid and pucks were then cut out using a CNC machine. Add some red and yellow paint to the pucks, and voila! (It sounds easy, but it actually took us a solid week to make.)


If you haven't dropped by Gold Crown Lanes lately, it's a must-do. Whether you want to go inside to bowl or just enjoy the sun outside playing 4 In A Row, it's definitely the up-and-coming hangout spot in our little town.

 


Prairie Maze with Ben + Erin


For the cute new zen and chill space in Fort Morgan, not a lot of woodworking opportunities existed. But seating was one area where we could help out. We were asked to create another style of log bench so people could relax in amongst the maze.


These benches were constructed in the traditional half log style. After the beetle kill log was split in two on the sawmill, the legs had to be shaped with a hand grinder to fit the unique contours of the log seat it's supporting.


Nine benches later, I think it's safe to say that episode three leveled our guys up to "expert bench makers" for sure. 😂

 

Between the bowling alley and Prairie Maze, we didn't have enough bandwidth left to assist with the Akpamoli house outside of supplying cedar beams for the front porch. But WOW! What a feat that renovation was inside. We've heard all about it over the past few months, but we hadn't seen the inside of their home until the episode aired.


Now at the halfway point of the season, there's just three episodes left. And we predict big things to happen! Next week features a small business and community project that we played major roles in. Hope you all tune in with us to watch.


~ Jason + Leah

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